Sometimes it is just too tough to come up with 500 words about one topic that will fill this space. This is one of those weeks. I could end this opinion column right now and see if Hoch Publishing news editor Adam Stewart has any sympathy for me, or I could just drag out some mini-opinions and keep my job for another week. Since my six regular readers might miss me, I think that is what I will do.
In the “Well, thank goodness” category, all of us who were downtown Saturday morning when part of the brick façade fell off of the front of the American Legion building noted a couple of things as we stared in surprise at the mound of bricks on the sidewalk. First were expressions of gratitude that it didn’t happen during the hugely successful Jason Callahan Benefit of several weeks ago or when the senior citizens park out in front and head into the senior center next door most weekdays around noon. Next was the appreciation for the emergency personnel from the Fire Department, Atmos Energy, ambulance, and Police Department who were there quickly to deal with the remaining parts of the loose façade, rope off the area for public safety, and make certain there were no problems inside the building. I thought they all did their jobs well and I would offer up a thank you to each of them.
In the “I love my new street” category, take a drive down Locust Street, sail right on out past the city limits, and appreciate that smooth asphalt. There is still a bit to do to complete the repairs to the avenue, but it is a major improvement and the street’s safety factor has increased considerably. With visitors and residents using Locust to enter the community and attend football games, family reunions and traditional events at the park, the repairs are a welcome change for the better. (And I might add here, that when you spend your money in town, a part of your sales tax goes to pay for repairs and resurfacing on additional streets, so you should do more local shopping!)
In the “So, how big was it?” category, I am writing this column on Monday night and hope to include a piece before we go to press about former Peabody-Burns High School kid, Calvin Carr, winning the annual Halibut Fishing Tournament this past weekend in Valdez, Alaska. The competition began in May and had weekly winners, with the lead changing hands on several occasions. A couple of weeks ago, Calvin hooked a big one that weighed 264 pounds and took over first place! He remained in there until the end, winning the $15,000 grand prize. Don’t you know he dreamed of a fish like that when he was a kid dropping a line into Doyle Creek on a hot summer’s day? I think I will get the story before press time so you might scan the paper to see if Calvin and his fish are pictured. I wonder if we could all caravan to North Pole, Alaska, for a fish fry?
In the “I swear I love to camp” category, the Daughters are heading off mid-week to “land rush” at the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield. After they select their campsites, they will camp or come back to Peabody, depending on their job requirements. As I remember, these are the young women who could not go on a family vacation without multiple curling irons, mousse and make-up by the bucket-load, and a wardrobe trailer pulled behind the family vehicle. So now they are going camping (sort of, off and on) for two weeks. This has been going on for decades and I still am flummoxed. Who would have thought? They even know all the verses to a song called “The Porta-Potty Blues.” I have just realized that I could probably write more than 500 words about this phenomenon so I will hold my comments and get back to you in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, enjoy this column of good news snippets and count on one more. There is one really great thing about the Bluegrass Festival … it ALWAYS means rain!
— SUSAN MARSHALL